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How To Be Livid

by Ariane Simard Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 9:45 AM

Anger as a sane and appropriate response to the proposed war in Iraq. A guide for those still too shy to protest.

Friday, February 14th, 2003

Ladies and Gentlemen, make no mistake, this is a war protest letter and I’m justifiably angry. Over the past few days I have been astounded to hear a few close friends, some family and one notable writer term Bush’s proposed war on Iraq as inevitable – a “done deal.” These conversations all had a helpless, fluttery, shoulders shrugged, hands in the air tone to them. What can we do?

Granted our little piss-pot of a President has already placed the troops. He has made it clear that he will neither hold in regard any UN opinion that does not mesh firmly with his own, nor will he listen to any of those “Old European Countries” who have advised temperance and caution. [God Bless the Germans for speaking out early. They know a DICK-tator when they see one.]

Our skinny, self-appointed autocrat of a President who wants (along with War Hawks Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell) to throw caution to the wind and blast those Iraqis with the full force of our weaponry and all the hedonistic gung-ho of an old cowboy flick.

For those that missed his State of the Union speech, you missed Bush admitting, “3000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. And many others have met a different fate. Let’s put it this way…” and here was where Bush leaned forward on one elbow and smiled directly into the camera, “they are no longer a problem to the US and our friends and allies.”

I sincerely doubt that our President is suggesting that over a nice cup of coffee those suspected terrorists simply agreed to let up. What happened to innocent until proven guilty ladies and gentlemen? When did fair trials turn into fairy tales? How can the leader of our democracy be so smarmy and glib while admitting to covert and illegal assassinations?

This is not a phase ladies and gentlemen. Bush may be childish, but this is not like teething or teen-age rebellion where inevitably it will just go away if you wait. Bush and the War Hawks are marching forward. If you have been hoping that the UN leaders would somehow work it all out -- it’s time my friends, in the words of Ginsburg, to abandon hope and embrace reality.

Understandably embracing reality is never easy especially in light of the fact that terrorists did attack us on our own soil.

In the year, five months and four days since the attack, perhaps you too were shocked silent by such an unexpected tragedy. Perhaps you found yourself like many of us -- who would have normally been more outspoken against the quickie war on Afghanistan -- wading through aisles of American flags at the local grocery store, unsure of what to do next. We mourned the dead and held our tongues, took a wait-and-see approach and in the name of the 3000 who died, probably acted contrary to our better judgment.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, scandals bubbled to the surface like so much Texas crude.

Enron, Meryll Lynch and Worldcom – oh my! These animals who’d had their way with the bull market left little doubt that Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist ploy was the luckiest break that that usurper George W. ever got. (With succeeding to steal the election running a close 2nd). If the country is at war, who is going to detect a little downturn in the economy? Would anyone notice that we have gone from a 5.6 trillion surplus to a 300 billion dollar deficit? Surely not the American public who’d trained their attention (or perhaps been trained) to watch the volunteers and dogs sift through rubble at ground zero, the low speed car chases, the high profile kidnappings. Did our smirky, monkey boy of a President truly believe that no one would notice as he segued from war on one Middle Eastern country to another? Apparently he thought that we wouldn’t because he advised the public that we should continue with business as usual, that it was our patriotic duty to shop.

President Bush seems to think that the American public is, as writer Christian Divine puts it, “fighting for our right to drive SUV’s, play video games and drink go-large Pepsis through fatter straws.”

Ladies and Gentlemen are you getting annoyed yet? Then join me in saying: “Shame on you Bush, we are smarter than that.”

Consider very carefully how to react to the stance our own government is taking. The cost of war is enormous. Increased military spending in 2002 to fund the “war on terror” and homeland security initiatives has already resulted in cuts in educational, environmental, medical and social programs. Lives will be lost. According to government analysis, “possible occupation is likely to produce far more casualties than the previous Gulf War or the war in Afghanistan. Pentagon estimates say that invasion of Iraq could lead to the deaths of 10,000 innocent civilians.”

But the greatest cost to America would be our credibility and our standing in the world. If the United States expects Iraq to abide by the conventions of international law as outlined by the United Nations Charter, than the United States, as a member among a community of nations should itself abide by the conventions of the UN Charter, which forbids member countries from attacking another country except in self-defense.

Getting madder? Stay tuned.

The Bush Administration has not yet proven that Iraq either possesses nuclear arms or has intent to use such arms against the United States. Yet they seem to think that by repeating again and again that they believe Iraq to be in possession of nuclear arms, that Americans will somehow believe it too. In a press conference three weeks ago, Ari Fleisher stated that if Iraq does not come forward and show us the weapons then we will be forced to take action. Doesn’t that put Iraq in a “damned-if-they-do-damned-if-they-don’t” position? If Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, then we strike. If they don’t have weapons of mass destruction and cannot, therefore come forward with any weapons to UN Inspectors, then we strike. It seems as if the circling War Hawks Rumsfeld and Cheney are going to get their way no matter what.

Not so incidentally, we should examine carefully Rumsfeld and Cheney’s motivations behind invading Iraq. Dick Cheney, who has met with the Taliban, made millions when his oil company rebuilt Iraq after Operation Desert Storm. Rumsfeld met with Iraq during the hostage crisis. Is it possible that the reason we are so certain that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction is because we gave it to him ourselves?

People who support action against Iraq often claim that Bush probably knows something that we don’t. Yeah, I’ll bet he does.

Bush stated following 9/11 that you were either with us or against us. Let me point out that war is never that black and white. It is a gray as the dust of the buildings it brings down. It is as red as blood and as red as rage.

And if you are angry with Bush’s proposed war on Iraq, you should be.

You should be angry that if we wage war, 8 innocent civilians will die for every soldier we lose.

You should be angry that Cheney’s company made millions in rebuilding Afghanistan after Operation Desert Storm and if they did it once they can do it again.

You should be angry that the media has the audacity to use the term IRAQ ATTACK – likening war to fast food??!! Get it while it’s hot boys – war made fast, cheap and easy to swallow.

You should be angry that not only has our piss-pot stolen the election, but that he hopes to start a war to end all wars.

You should sign every f*&%#ing email petition you get.

You should call up magazines and talk shows when they invite Laura Bush on to talk about decorating the White House and tell them that they are wasting precious time.

You should not regard war as the inevitable end to conflict resolution.

You should call the White House at 202-456-1111 and let them know what you think, now!

You should march in protest rallies until your feet need Epsom salt baths.

You should stop asking how did this proposed war happen and decide that in no way in hell will it happen.

You should turn off the Simpsons, download and print up that sign and stick it to your rear window and when people ask you what “LIVID” means tell them it means a deep, seething anger and stands for your general dis-satisfaction with George W’s Presidency and that you are against the proposed war against Iraq with every fiber of your being.

You should be LIVID ladies and gentlemen, you should be LIVID.


Questions? Comments? Copy of a "Livid" sign for your car? Feel free to email me.

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